Re: Emergent Learning LO1988

Barry Mallis (
7 Jul 1995 11:34:27 -0400

Replying to LO1962 --

Reply to: RE>>Emergent Learning LO1962

To Chun Wei Choo, regarding knowledge conversion cycle.

A wonderful concept, and to my thinking nothing new. Converting tacit
knowledge to explicit knowledge and back again is in fact how we humans go
about our lives. But...

Cultures vary to a marvelous degree the speed and intensity with which
this basal process occurs. Let's see: from sensory input, to fuzzy and
unconscious "cloud", to internal image. That's one way input becomes
tacit. We each have personal filters, cultural filters, and biological
(human) filters interacting, right?

Shoji Shiba and others have observed that Americans love to work really
hard on "things", but then when breakthrough success is at a level where
longer term maintenance is possible, interest, motivation and intention
flag. The Japanese, on the other hand, do not follow this cycle. Rather,
they work longer, learn more slowly but attain and maintain a high plateau
of achievement without let-up.

I see these observations as linked to the cycle you mention. And I would
suggest that despite our humanity, there are cultural imperatives which
strongly influence an individual's cycle. No doubt many have written
about how within a single organization with the same ostensible goals and
vision there is also a variability of filtering in the knowledge
conversion cycle which merits understanding.

Do managers have time to stop and consider these things? Don't
consultants to learning groups exists because most of us managers don't
know what to do with the filter/cycle concept; how to leverage it; when to
invoke awareness of it to the revelation of those involved in a task?

Barry Mallis